Oct. 19-23 is Teen Read Week and to celebrate Boonslick Regional Library hosted two special events Tuesday — the re-dedication of their Teen Room and a book signing by four local teen authors.
“We think kids are awesome and we want to encourage their creativity and writing in any way we can,” Linda Allcorn, of Boonslick Regional Library, said. “This just seemed like a great way to celebrate our kids and Teen Read Week at the same time.”
Boonslick is coming off a successful summer reading program, which is where the idea for the book “Budding Bards” was conceived.
“We were very pleased with our summer reading program,” Children’s Librarian Jackie Oliphant said. “We had 80 in our teen program and 300 or so in our youth program and we were thrilled with the turn-out; in fact, we are already making plans for next year’s program.”
Part of those plans include the return of Angela Roquet, author of the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, who spearheaded the teen summer writing program.
“I know what it is like to try to get your work published,” Roquet said, “It can be difficult so I wanted to help the students develop their writing and let them know that their work can be published.”
The four writers — Victoria Sparks, Jake Darson, Natalie Wombles and Shirley Camirand — all complimented Roquet on her helpfulness during their three days together.
“Angela helped me a lot with my writing and with the book,” Wombles said. “She encouraged me a great deal and she was an excellent role model.”
The four students, who all plan to continue with their writing, met two hours a day for three days during the summer workshop.
After that, they spent the next several weeks editing and refining their work.
“After the first three days, the four students spent time working on their stories, fine-tuning them,” Roquet said. “We spent a lot of time Googling each other back and forth, doing a lot of peer editing and critiquing each other until we were finished.”
The resulting collection of short stories is available for sale with the proceeds benefiting the library.
Roquet is a member of the Sedalia Area Literacy Council whose work benefits area literary programs.
“I really couldn’t think of a better way to help the kids but also the library,” Roquet said.
Helping kids who come to the library is one of the primary reasons for the re-dedication of Boonslick’s Teen Room.
“We have a lot of students who come to the library after school,” Oliphant said. “We wanted them to have a place that they could call their own.”
The room, originally established in 2008, was in need of some upgrades. Boonslick received a Library and Services Technology Grant, which they used to purchase some new furniture, a television, PlayStation and Xbox for the room.
“We really felt the room was a neat and innovative way to get teens to utilize the library,” Allcorn said.
Copies of “Budding Bards,” are available for $5 at Boonslick Library, 219 W. Third St.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484